US: Stratolaunch announces today its new family of launch vehicles that will enter regular service starting in 2020. The company’s unique air-launch system will use the world’s largest aircraft as a mobile launch platform, capable of deploying launch vehicles that will carry satellites to multiple orbits and inclinations on a single mission. With these new vehicles, Stratolaunch is poised to make access to space convenient, affordable, and routine.
“We are excited to share for the first time some details about the development of our own, proprietary Stratolaunch launch vehicles, with which we will offer a flexible launch capability unlike any other,” said Jean Floyd, Chief Executive Officer at Stratolaunch. “Whatever the payload, whatever the orbit, getting your satellite into space will soon be as easy as booking an airline flight.”
The updated launch offering from Stratolaunch includes the following vehicles:
- Pegasus: With its existing track record of over 35 successful launches, Pegasus provides dependable access to orbit.
- Capability: 370 kg payload* for a single or triple configuration
- Status: Flight proven, integration and testing ongoing with first flight in 2020
- Medium Launch Vehicle (MLV): A new medium-class air-launch vehicle optimized for short satellite integration timelines, affordable launch and flexible launch profiles.
- Capability: 3,400 kg payload*
- Status: In development with first flight in 2022
- Medium Launch Vehicle – Heavy: A three-core MLV variant with capability to deploy heavier payloads to orbit.
- Capability: 6,000 kg payload*
- Status: Early development
- Space Plane: A fully reusable space plane that enables advanced in-orbit capabilities and cargo return. Initial designs optimized for cargo launch, with a follow-on variant capable of transporting crew.
- Capability: Medium-class payload or crew
- Status: Design study